The Saltwater Summit

Bush's agreement to meet Gorbachev off Malta marks an overdue shift; now the U.S. wants to prop up a Soviet leader

One President is riding high in the polls as he presides over peace and prosperity, yet he is hearing mounting criticism for his timid response to the stunning changes taking place overseas. The other President, though wildly popular around the world, is in serious trouble at home, threatened with civil war in the south of his country, a secessionist movement in the north and a collapsing economy that heralds a winter of fuel shortages and food riots. For all these differences -- and because of them -- George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev both stand to gain from a feet-up-on-the-table, let's-get-to-know-each-other chat....

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